Is Steve Smith planning for retirement from international cricket?
17 January 2023
It seems bizarre that former Australian captain Steve Smith lit up the Australian cricket team during the final Test of the three-match series against South Africa, followed quickly by speculation of his retirement. The batter hammered his 30th Test century during Australia’s first batting innings. He came to bat in the 48th over when the Men in Yellow were reeling at a score of 147 for two. Smith stitched a crucial 209-run partnership with the opening batter, Usman Khawaja. His knock of 104 runs off 192 balls and was laced with two sixes and 11 boundaries.
With the much-awaited hundred, Steve Smith also broke a lot of records. Notably, his last Test century came in November 2022. However, Steve Smith sent the cricket fraternity into shock by hinting at his retirement. Following the glorious performance against the Proteas, Smith was quoted as saying, “I really can’t say how long I’ll play for.”
A few months back also, the legendary batter had given a cryptic answer when asked about his retirement plans. He had hinted towards the end of his career being near. In an interaction with The Daily Telegraph in November, Smith said, “No, I don’t have a plan, but I’m 33 now. I’ve been playing international cricket for 13 years. It’s been a long time. I’m still enjoying it, but I’m certainly closer to the end than the start, that’s for sure.”
The explosive comment by the batter sent the Australian fans into a frenzy. However, the fans can heave a sigh of relief as in his latest interview, the 33-year-old Steve Smith denied the retirement rumors. Speaking about the future of his cricket career with Fox Sports, the middle-order batter added that he is here to stay. Smith is excited about playing on the coming tours for the Australian cricket team. As of now, he is enjoying his game.
“I’m always very cryptic with that (retirement) stuff. But I’m not going anywhere, I’m comfortable with where everything is at, we’ve got a few good tours coming up, I’m excited, and I’m still trying to get better. Whilst I still have that hunger and eagerness to try and improve, particularly to help some of the batters coming through … while I’m doing all that, I’m enjoying myself and I have no plans for retirement,” Steve Smith added.
Steve Smith broke a lot of records with his 30th Test hundred
Meanwhile, Steve Smith’s 30th Test hundred, which came against South Africa, broke a lot of records. He is now the third-highest century score for Australia in the longest format of the game. The batter reached 30 hundred in 92 Test matches while scoring 8647 runs at an average of 60.89 and a strike rate of 54.38. He also has 37 fifties to his name.
In terms of centuries scored, Steve Smith leapfrogged Donald Bradman. The legendary player had recorded 29 Test hundreds in 52 Test matches. Matthew Hayden also has 30 centuries to his name but in 103 games. The second place is occupied by Steve Waugh with 32 hundred while the former skipper Ricky Ponting is at the top with 41 100+ scores.
Moreover, Steve is now the fourth-highest run-getter for Australia in the purest format of the game. He is just behind Ricky Ponting, Allan Border, and Steve Waugh. As far as the South Africa series is concerned, Australia scored a win by 2-0 in the home conditions. The last game ended in a draw while the hosts won the first and second matches by six wickets and an innings and 182 runs, respectively. With the series, they have kept their hopes of reaching the World Test Championship final alive.